Chicago Bulls MVP point guard Derrick Rose has returned to practice, albeit non-contact drills.
The 24-year-old began participating in workouts on Friday, but the Bulls remain quiet on when he will make his season debut.
For weeks, Chicago has said Rose’s rehabilitation from an ACL tear, suffered in the first game of last season’s playoffs, is right on schedule. The Bulls have refused to tag a date for Rose’s return to the court, and probably don’t want to rush him back too soon.
The Chicago coaching staff refuse to play Rose unless he is 100 percent healthy.
Ten days ago, head coach Tom Thibodeau said he hoped Rose would come back after the All-Star break, which would fall in late February.
Video also surfaced of Rose running and cutting at the team’s practice facility, showcasing a steady progression on an injury that could have kept him out for more than a year.
After the All-Star break, Chicago would have 30 games to work Rose back into their offense. The 16-12 Bulls are 27th in points per game this season, but are locked in a three-way race for the Central Division with rivals Milwaukee and Indiana.
Chicago has gone 8-5 in December, behind the NBA’s third best defense allowing just 91.5 points per game, and holding opponents to 43 percent shooting.